Young people seen and heard at Hackney Youth Conference

Hackney’s first ever Youth Conference on Saturday 11 September was an outstanding success, with more than 100 young people turning up at the Town Hall to enjoy and participate in a programme packed with activities.

Organised by members of the Hackney Youth Parliament, the Youth Ambassadors and the four Area Youth Forums - Homerton, North East, Shoreditch and Stoke Newington - with support from the Council’s Youth Service, the event was open to local young people aged 11-19.

Thought-provoking debates, screenings and interactive workshops encouraged dialogue among the young people, inviting them to come up with their own solutions to the challenging issues of the day.

Highlights included the comedy workshop, as well as one exploring heritage, migration and community cohesion, led by 14-year-old Jahmala Exton with support from Cllr Patrick Veronon, entitled Who Do You Think You Are? The 2012 Personal Best fitness and endurance challenge also attracted many young people keen to demonstrate their sporting prowess.

Another popular item was the presentation of awards by special guests Councillor Rita Krishna, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, and Superintendent Leroy Logan, of the Metropolitan Police, to Hackney Youth Parliament members in recognition of contributions over their two-year term.

The finale was a performance-led celebration featuring live vocal entertainment acts, prizes and poetry reading, which received rousing applause from an appreciative audience.

Councillor Krishna said: “Congratulations to the young people and staff for their hard work and commitment in delivering Hackney’s first Youth Conference. Chosen and developed by young people for young people, it was a well structured, informative and thoroughly entertaining event and a great success for all involved.”

For more information about Hackney Youth Parliament, the 2010 Youth Parliament elections and activities for young people, visit: